Luhnow On Appel, Bullpen, Shifts

AstrosGM Jeff Luhnow discusses a variety of topics in a recent interview with FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal:

  • The Astros recently removed top overall 2013 draft pick Mark Appel from the rotation in Class A+ Lancaster due to the pitcher’s struggles to adjust to the Astros’ tandem rotation system. Appel also missed part of spring training with an appendectomy. “I don’t expect this to be more than a couple of weeks,” says Luhnow. “Really, it’s just to make up for spring training. It’s my fault for sending him to Lancaster. … I realized that he just didn’t have a proper spring training.”
  • Luhnow says he isn’t yet worried about the Astros’ bullpen, Rosenthal reports. “I do think with the quality of arms we have out there — [Chad] Qualls, [Matt] Albers, (Josh) Fields and potentially [Jesse] Crain, when he comes back — we do have an improved bullpen,” says Luhnow. The Astros’ relievers have struggled this year despite the additions of Qualls, Albers, Crain and Jerome Williams.
  • The Astros are not using defensive shifts only to get information they might be able to use later, Luhnow says. “[A]re we doing things just to learn? No. … We believe we’€™re going to get more outs that way,” he says.
  • Luhnow says he has no problem with manager Bo Porter’s fiery personality.


Full Story | 12 Comments | Categories: Houston Astros

Leave a Reply

12 Comments on "Luhnow On Appel, Bullpen, Shifts"


LazerTown
1 year 3 months ago

Meanwhile Bryant is already tearing up AA.

Wainwrights_Curveball
1 year 3 months ago

I wonder if we’ll see him this year. The guy is an absolutely beast. Bright future for the Cubs.

LazerTown
1 year 3 months ago

I think that he will kind of be similar to the Springer situation down in Houston. I think it would be a mistake to rush him up now, and Theo/Hoyer I think will play it smart with the service clock. I would be pretty surprised if he doesn’t get called up early next year, but don’t think they call him up this year. Even if they were to call him up in Sept and he hit, then they would be forced to start him in the majors. I think he sees AAA in the 2nd half, and brought up early next year. If Cubs were competing it would be different, like Xander had an impact last fall, but they have no reason to do anything different than what best interests for their long term future.

Tko11
1 year 3 months ago

Cubs have literally no reason to rush him into the majors this year. Let him tear up the minors until there is no doubts he can handle the major leagues. Cubs will have a nice tandem with Baez + Bryant.

burnboll
1 year 3 months ago

I don’t know when they will bring up kris bryant.

jjs91
1 year 3 months ago

Why would Luhnow be worried about the pen or anything else? He basically has a green-light to lose every single season.

RedbirdRuffian
1 year 3 months ago

That is funny–though I do think a couple more 100 loss seasons will mean the end of the Luhnow regime. At that time they will hold the all time record for most 100-loss seasons in a row, and the great draft positions they will have had for 5 plus seasons should be ready to pay off. Enough is enough, the Ryan’s will recognize by then they need someone who actually knows how to put an entire team together. Didn’t think it was possible for the bullpen to be worse than last year, guess again. Crain is on a 1-year deal, and may be ready next month; if he shows anything at all he will be flipped for prospects at the trade deadline which was the plan all along.

1 year 3 months ago

I’d imagine most starters don’t like the tandem rotation. It’s gotta make it somewhat difficult to get into a rhythm or find one, especially if a pitcher is shaky early. I wonder if it makes it a little harder to evaluate too, as you don’t get to see the first starter make adjustments late in the ballgame.

Kennon Riley
1 year 3 months ago

The tandem system is a way to extend spring training in a sense. The Astros have a tremendous amount of depth in pitching talent and it wouldn’t be fair to players to send the left overs to the bullpen. Especially since some of the lower tier prospects excel in the system.

Eventually the plan is to let them pitch deeper as their arms get used to the load of pitching professionally. We have already started to see this as Thomas Shirley and Luis Cruz have gone 6 innings in their last couple of starts.

1 year 3 months ago

I’m not questioning the sensibility of the concept because it’s a pretty practical one, especially in the Astros’ case. But from a comfort standpoint, I just don’t see how most starters, especially top-of-the-rotation guys like Appel, are fond of it. Foltynewicz practically blamed the system for his elbow soreness last season, which brings up an issue besides mine of deviating from routine. I get using it for mid-rotation pitchers and fringe starters at lower levels, but not guys you’ll rely on to carry a heavier workload, anyway.

LazerTown
1 year 3 months ago

Think the tandem idea is good in the lower minors. Many relievers are just converted starters. If you have a tandem situation it allows the team to have more “starts” for everyone. Get the look at as many players as possible in the lower minors, Even if you only getting the one pitcher 3-4 innings that is enough where you can easily turn him into a starter if he impresses you.

1 year 3 months ago

I get that, but until you get to the point in which you feel comfortable extending your starters a little more, isn’t it a bit harder to determine who fits where? A guy may impress me over 3 innings, but that may not be the case when he has to face the lineup the second, and third time. So then I feel you’re running the risk of putting a guy in a spot where he won’t be most successful because of an abbreviated start. I think this system could prove both beneficial and detrimental to the Astros.